Not long after we took the mooring line at Pinnacle Two Sunday morning, the boat boys were no where to be seen. One of the boys came on the dive deck, detached the line attaching us to the other boat on the dive site, the MV Seaborne, he then said something about an accident with the Captain’s toe. I ran up to the bow, Indra was already bandaging Julie’s toe. He got it caught between the boat and the mooring line whilst he was checking if the line was secure enough to start diving. So the dive was cancelled and we headed back to Singapore as fast as we could, hopefully his toe can be saved. Update:- toe stitched up, he will be off his feet for a while.
Anyway, lets talk diving. We spent the weekend around Pulau Aur, Malaysia. We dived Lang, Pinang, Crocodile Rock, Captain’s Point, Rayners Rock and a 1 hour night dive at the house reef.
The night dive was actually really good, although a bit long for my liking. We saw a huge barramundi cod, a red Nudi about the size of a dinner plate, I have only seen a few of these before, twice at Riau Islands, Indonesia and an other one on Pinnacle Two at Aur, Malaysia a few years back. There was also a good number of crazy crabs with orange spounge coral on their backs. Sleeping parrot fish everywhere, barracudas, schools of small fish and loads of shrimps. Towards the end of the dive we found two banded boxer shrimp. I finally got everyone up and out of the water, while Armand was far ahead, amazed by all this underwater life. After a quick shower I went upstairs and the BBQ had already started. That’s it I said to myself, 30 minute night dives only…no more missing the BBQ. The boys cooked more food, don’t worry late comers there is more coming for you.
This weekend Armand was guiding his dad Herve, Scott and his daughter Victoria and CCR Diver Scott (Mr Angry) followed him for a few dives on his rEvo. I was conducting PADI Advanced Open Water with Jarod, Jon and his daughter Amber. Jon and Amber are getting ready to go diving in the Maldives and a weeks time. Mr Angry followed me a few times too. We met at Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal Friday night and had a great dinner on board as we sailed to our diving desitination. Living and sleeping on-board The Ark is a nice relaxing way to travel!
The viz all weekend was ok at about 10 meters, the water was a little milky but still okay.
Crocodile Rock was one of the best dives all weekend, there was fish and nudis everywhere, I must have seen at least 40 blue dragon nudis, 6 tiger cowries a turtle and some dark margin glossodories and a couple of Anna’s chromoris making out. I also saw a yellow box fish, these little buggers are not easy to get a photo of, they never stay still long enough, but for first ever I managed to get a couple of decent shots. Armand took his dad on a 1 on 1 dive, that they enjoyed at the fullest.
On just about every dive there were pregnant puffer fish and porcupine fish every where. We also saw a few ramoras desperately trying to stick on our tanks , but no host fish. One ramora was trying to attach itself to a smaller fish, the ramora was about 5 times it’s size, so you can imagine the host fish was feeling pretty uncomfortable. There were also trigger fish everywhere, I even swam on top of one that did not care that we were there one bit. I think I’m over my TFT now, for the moment…
During the navigation exercise, Amber got a little bit lost, but Jon took the blame because he was in charge of the depth and distance they swam, what a wonderful dad! So we did another navigation square and Amber did a great job. Jon and Jarod also did well. Jarod’s square was perfect, I think with equal sides, it was really good.
During the deep dive, we went to a max depth of 22 metres at Pulau Pinang and because Amber is only 14, we stayed there for 15 minutes and returned to our entry point so I could swap Jarod with Alvin’s Open Water Students. We had pre planned this so Jarod could go all the way down to 30 metres dive for a while and deploy his SMB.
Jon was happy to stay at 22 metres and then follow me and the Open Water Students. I think I drew the short straw, the Open Water Students needed a bit of help and seemed to enjoy diving like seahorses. Anyway, they managed okay and we continued our dive. I could see Mr Angry laughing in his loop.
Mr Angry decided to imitate the open water students on the next dive for a bit of fun.
But he looked more like a black bear than a seahorse.
He did this after riding me like a “cheap pony” as he says. He grabbed my tank valve and straddled me with his knees and bucked me up and down like riding a bull.
I knew who it was straight away.
As you can tell Mr Angry was a bit bored due to the lack of fish and wrecks on some sites.
During the AWARE FishID dive I gave my students an exercise to count the number of fish families. I gave each one a different location and we only counted 7 types at each place. I also asked them to draw one if the fish and identify it later. The drawing were somewhat odd, but we managed (I don’t know how) to work it out. One wrasse, one damsal and one grouper.
Congratulations to Jarod, Jon and Amber for completing their PADI Advanced Open Water Diver Course.
Glenda’s tip – Be prepared for anything to happen on a dive boat, even injury to people. There are objects and hazards everywhere. Be safe and watch what you do. If a captain can hurt himself, a less sea going person can too. So look out and be safe. It is also not a bad idea for diver to carry their own first aid kit.
Armand (GS-Diving’s new PADI Dive Master Trainee or DMT for short or gofer as you prefer) had a blast and wrote the following for this trip report:-
I was able to take my father diving for a few dives, which turned out to be absolutely awesome. We saw tonnes of fish, nudi-branches, a turtle, moray eels, crabs, a few of those bloody trigger fishes, did our safety stop on huge and beautiful boulders sheltering all sorts of fishes… It was fantastic! It also allowed me to share my passion for diving with him, although I had to behave during the entire trip, as the crew constantly reminded me with slight sarcasm…
And the French version for his grandmother to read in France:-
J’ai eu l’unique occasion de guider mon père à travers quelques plongées ce weekend, qui s’est avéré être une superbe expérience pour nous deux. On a vu de nombreuses espèces de poissons, y compris des nudi-branches, des murènes, quelques crabes, des trigger fish et une tortue. On a fait notre safety stop au dessus d’immenses et magnifiques rochers à 5 mètres, qui abritaient des centaines de poissons. C’était superbe! Ca m’a aussi permis de partager ma passion pour la plongée avec lui, une expérience unique dans des fonds marins exceptionnels.
Dive well and enjoy – Gary
Underwater photos were taken by the writer of this blog
Looking to view some more photos from this trip? They can be viewed on our Facebook page – click here to view the album 3 to 5 August 2012, The Ark – Adv Open Water & Rec Diving